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Assassin's Creed: Bloodlines (PSP)

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5 Reviews

Genre: Action & Shooter / Video Game for Sony PSP / ESRB Rating: Everyone / Release Date: 2009-11-20 / Published by Ubisoft

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    5 Reviews
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      29.10.2011 00:26

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      Worth playing if you are an Assassin's Creed fan

      I bought this game due to the love I developed for the series after Assassin's Creed 2. I wanted to play as one of the assassins whilst I was on the move. For a PSP game, the graphics are half decent as is the gameplay although it is not quite as smooth to play as any of its big brothers. It still offers counter kills and swordplay and assassinations galore and is a great jump back to the life of Altair. I was incredibly disappointed to hear Altair speak in this game! The voice actor was switched to a more authentic one but after the original game with a completely different accent, it just sounds horribly wrong. The draw distance is pretty reasonable on this game although yet again, is nothing compared to it's big brothers. When you get high up, you really start to see the let down part of the graphics as the high places aren't as real and the sky looks rather bad. Overall, the game plays well and it was nice to see some expansion on the narrative arc of Altair. A fun game and worth a play but there isn't much replay value.

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      17.03.2011 18:33
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      If you cant find it cheap enough give it a miss

      First off I would say if you don't like the first game I wouldn't try playing this as it's more of the same but if you did enjoy the first game your in for a treat.

      Plot: You play as Altair who is the same character as the first game. This game follows the events straight after the first one with you having to track down the last of the Templars who fled the Holy Land and retreated to the island of Cyprus.

      There is one major change with this handheld version compared to the console one and that is there's no Desmond. You stick with playing through the past and not once is the future brought into the mix. Although I didn't hate the futuristic feel of the Desmond parts of the console version compared to other, I still think it's a welcome change to what was a tedious aspect of the game.

      Graphics: The graphics are fairly decent although not the best I have seen the PSP produce. It does make you realise how Assassins Creed would have looked if it has come out on the PS2 though.

      Game play: The mission structure is like the original with assassinations, investigations and free running but just on a smaller scale. True it doesn't give you quite the same feel of running around a gigantic city; it still does well in its own right. You're constantly on the go doing one thing or another which although wouldn't suit the PS3, suits the PSP well.

      Controls: I found these quite awkward. The layout was spread over the many buttons which would have been ok if you hadn't of had to keep moving from one to another. I felt these could have been better implemented to stop your hands getting tied up.

      The camera was pretty dreadful too especially when fighting. At times, I was busy taking on a mob of soldiers only to find a wooden plank or something of the sort go slap bang into the middle of my screen resulting in an obstructed view of the soldiers and some unavoidable hits off of them.

      Lifespan: Very short. Bloodlines took me around the 5 hour mark which quite frankly is ridiculously short to warrant paying full price for the game. If you can find it cheap to be able to justify the price with the length of game I would say it's well worth buying.

      Although you can connect your PSP and PS3 together to unlock special extras shared between the two, I wouldn't call this replayability and wouldn't say there was anything else to do either once the game is done.

      Overall: It's a pretty good game. Not worth 5 stars due to the problems I've mentioned but none the less it's a good solid game for the PSP that's well worth a play but only if you can find it cheap enough.

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      04.07.2010 15:48
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      A generic and pretty average game, not bad but not great

      Assassins creed : Bloodlines (AcB) is a game for the psp, designed to bridge the gap between the console releases 1 and 2. In the game you are Altair and are running around roughly a month after the events of AC1.

      Altair has travelled to cyprus from the Holy land areas, as the last of the templars are meeting there to find the apple of eden. The historical relic which allows the beholder to control the minds of the people. It's Altair's task to track down the 5 templars on the island and assassinate them, before they find the apple and cause widespread damage to the world.
      The story is very smooth and you are forever gaining information in similar ways to the console, interregation, stealing, eavesdropping are all ways of preparing yourself for the final challenge.

      The game is set mainly in Cyprus , although you start in Acre castle learning the basics there and in the Animus. The assassinations take place in two of Cypruses cities, Krenia and Limasol.
      These make for intresting level designs due to the big marketplaces , castles and docks situated inside of them. However they dont have the diversity of the consoles levels and so both feel pretty similar, not only that but the amount of loading screens which plague the city make it feel a lot less open and more like they are individual sub-levels, especially when every loading screen takes around 9 seconds.
      The games area's do feel as though the developer is hitting copy and paste at some points, nearly all buildings are connected by wooden planks and have a hiding place. All the windows are set in the same way and every other building also has a ladder traversing between the different housing storeys. When climbing castles the stonework juts out and looks as though it has been glued on, not like it is a piece of the same stone structure.
      Although , the palm trees , market stalls and people are designed well , albeit in a rather clunky style they dont have the variety they should. Apparently every 3rd person in Cyprus is an identical twin according to this game.
      Just because it's on the PSP doesn't mean it has to have a second rate feel to the levels.

      The gameplay is also a mix bag because of this, one of the most exciting things in the AC series is investigating all the areas of the map, the parkour side of the game is actually very fluid which surprised me. Ubisoft have passed over Altair's cat like balance and movement very well, it's just a shame the area he is running around in doesn't have a little more care.
      The fighting mechanics of AC1 also appear in this game, unfortunatly thats not a great thing. The Knight's templar were meant to be the cream of the crop, the best fighters in the land.But like it's console counterpart they resemble an average man who has had the sword forced on them and pointed in Altairs direction , flailing with his weapon like a child. Big groups are easily despatched with swift , quick attacks and any attempts at blocking dont last long as they soon drop their guard.

      Graphically the game is OK , Altairs robes flutter around his legs as he runs and small sparks fly off colliding metal. The best way to describe the sorroundings would be that when you are far away they look really good, but as you get closer you can see it lacks that final polish that it unobtained in many titles. It leaves it with that typically portable, blocky and smudged design. It doesn't really ruin the game but it is noticable.

      The sounds in the game all sound good but are repeated often, the sound of clashing swords and shouting soon become very similar and a little annoying.
      Voice acting in the game is average for a title like this, it feels a bit clouded at some point and the voice of Altair is very different , this doesn't help continuity at all as it's a game to bridge the gap, it seems to miss out the part where Altair's spent his holidays in a place near india and picked up the accent.
      The soundtrack in the game doesn't add much but slightly raises the atmosphere , again its quite repetitive but their is the option to turn it off.

      The game is available on Amazon for £14 and has around 10 hours of gameplay, it also has connection with AC2 on the ps3, allowing you to get exclusive weapons.

      To be honest the game is pretty generic, whilst it shows what can be done visually , it lacks that extra detail in almost all areas. The team obviously didn't pass on the feedback from AC1 and let the PSP versions make the same mistakes.

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        05.05.2010 22:48
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        Kept me going after finishing Assassin's Creed II

        I'm something of an unsatisfied PSP owner for the most part. I picked up the handheld some time ago but have found it more useful when linked up with Sony's PS3 or used to watch videos in bed. The main selling point of the PSP, the games, have very rarely captivated me for any length of time. As such I'm always a little wary of games I would otherwise be excited for. The prospect of a new Assassin's Creed release should have had me on the edge of my seat, as it is I could only work up the enthusiasm to throw down the cash a few weeks ago.

        Fortunately for me, Bloodlines is quite a successful PSP title. A direct follow up to the first Assassin's Creed, the game follows closely after. We return to the adventures of 12th century assassin, Altair, as he travels to Cyprus while investigating a Templar plot. Players familiar with the Assassin's Creed series will find familiar gameplay elements as Altair moves from mission to mission in an open world. The same principles are in effect here though the more limited potential of the PSP means Cyprus is a smaller, more sparsely populated area than The Holy Land. Characters wandering the streets are less sophisticated (and far less frequent) but this is still a fully featured entry in the series. Technical issues aside, the game is largely of the same scale.
        Controls are a little stickier this time around, they could have done with an extra layer of polish but essentially it plays much as the other games.

        The story, while following the main plot, is surprisingly deep for a PSP title but lacks the wider tapestry of supporting characters and side missions. Interestingly, Bloodlines sees the return of Altair but not Desmond. While the menus retain the "animus" interface, no mention is made of Altair's status of Desmond's ancestor nor Desmond's ongoing, frame narrative. Presumably this is because Bloodlines was developed by a different studio, not privy to the twists and turns to be developed in the main, console versions. While this is somewhat disappointing, the plot in Cyprus is interesting enough to play through.

        Graphically this is one of the nicest PSP games I've play. Some impressive textures and models have been pushed through the hardware and while it is certainly a contrast to the lush console releases, it is nice to see such clean visuals on a portable release. It runs smoothly despite the visual oomph and has no glaring technical errors.

        PSP owners should enjoy this, it's a solid action release and worth playing. For players of Assassin's Creed 1 or 2 who hoped for a bit more after completing the stories, this should keep you occupied until the inevitable third release but could be a disappointment for those expecting a perfect replica.

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          17.02.2010 20:56
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          Fantastic game on the PlayStation Portable, strongly resembles Assassins Creed 1

          First thing I would like to say, and this may sum up the whole review in one word, but this game is awesome and I can say that this is one of the best PSP games I have ever had the pleasure of playing. It a very cut down version of what we saw in Assassins Creed, and it is obvious that this game is by far not a ripped off version by Ubisoft to expand onto the PSP and make a few quid, this game is its own independent marvel like Assassins Creed was on the Ps3 and Xbox 360 and now we have Assassins Creed Bloodlines is for the PSP.

          Summary

          First I would like to sum up the relevance of this game in the Assassins Creed series. Basically you are Altair again; the highly skilled Assassin in the 1100's, this game concentrates 100% on Altair and doesn't even mention Desmond (the future ancestor of Altair as seen in Assassins Creed). Altair has travelled from the Holy Land to Cyprus in chase of the Templers trying to once again ruin their plans. During the first few minutes of gameplay you come in contact with Maria, who you may remember briefly from Assassins Creed and she becomes the somewhat topic of the whole story, as you are constantly going after her. It is meant to be the time Altair spent after Assassins Creed and before Assassins Creed 2 happened, but nothing is mentioned of the upcoming game and nothing links in from what I can see, so it can safely be considered a "mini" game and nothing to take seriously if you are a serious Assassins Creed fan. The story is simple and is like a sequel to a brilliant movie, which somewhat lacks the enthusiasm the first movie had and is highly bland, however this game shouldn't be judged by its story and I will tell you why below.

          Gameplay

          Now I've saying straight off, the gameplay is incredible for what the PSP has offered in the past. Altair can basically do everything Altair can do in the Xbox360 and PS3. You are in a fully interactive town which gives you the option to scale almost anything and everything just like in Assassins Creed and jump from building to building and the all famous synchronise is still here, giving you the excuse to go up high and jump into haystacks and hay wagons, my only slight complain is that the camera isn't as interactive and the PSP controllers aren't built for the sometimes sensitive moves you have to perform on rare occasion, which ruins the perfect score the game would have had from me. You are also able to go into the typical Assassins Creed fights with multiple guard gangs and the impressive "cut scene" kills, however the fighting isn't "as" impressive in this version as it is highly repetitive and gets old quick, however the stealth kills seem to never get boring for some odd reason. The game also gives the opportunity off upgrading your weapons to get more throwing knifes and cause more damage, which don't really effect the gameplay that much, and it allows you to sync with the PS3 for Assassins Creed 2 to transfer these upgrades, which may have a bigger impact that they do here.

          Although the gameplay is nothing like I have seen before on the PSP console, it is important to remember that it is a PSP and contains a strong resemblance to early Ps2 games graphics wise, with the poorly models faces and horrible anti aliasing and of course the miss matched procession, when he picks up the knifes from the hideout, but these factors can easily be ignored as the great interactivity of the city draws you in deep. But there is a little bit of a repetitive vibe about the whole town. It seems to be modelled quite blandly, which is nothing less of what I expect of the PSP graphics, however the towns lack the significant detail that tells the player where they are located. If it wasn't for the map, I would be constantly lost on the game as it all looks the game (even when you switch cities).

          Since this is the PSP version, there are bound to be things missing, and like I mentioned above, the game looks like the alpha build of Assassins Creed , missing all the small features, for instance Altair can't sit down or get access to a horse and typically all the "listen in missions" which don't really exist as much as they've become cut scenes (similar to Assassins Creed 2), you cannot get new weapons, so your basically stuck with the hidden blade, sword, throwing knifes and some curved knife/blade as well as your fists, but like I said, you can develop and become more powerful with the upgrades, but honestly I could have completed the game in the same time without them.

          Speaking of completed, this game is surprisingly long, it took me about a week's worth of evenings trying to complete this game, although it was on off playing, it felt quite long and is certainly worth getting if you're looking for time value and something that isn't a racing game. Although the replay value may be slightly lost on it in all fairness.

          Conclusion

          Overall my final words are that of all the games I've played on the PSP, and this includes God of War, Grand Theft Auto (all of them for PSP) and the mass majority of racing and fighting games, this game has impressed me sincerely. Yes, there are a number of points about the game which can be improved, however I have not found any major issue that ruins the whole gaming experience and anything that is negative about this game can be very easily ignored.

          I have noticed that game reviewers from GameSpot and IGN have given the game low to average scores, which I found surprising, but I suspect they are comparing to the original, which is has no true competition over. But before buying and spending your cash (current retail price £30 - £40), do give a few other reviews a read, but if I had the chance to not get this game, I wouldn't change a thing.

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